Jasper Announces 2014 JAYS

(L - R) Kathleen Robbins, Greg Stuart, Darien Cavanaugh, Cindi Boiter, Katie Smoak, Rhonda Hunsinger accepting on behalf of her daughter Catherine Hunsinger Jasper Magazine is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 Jasper Artists of the Year awards. Winners were announced on Friday, November 21st at a fundraiser gala for the magazine at Columbia’s historic Big Apple at Park and Hampton Streets, amongst a crowd of 150 guests.

Winners include Katie Smoak for dance, Darien Cavanaugh for literary arts, Greg Stuart for music, Kathleen Robbins for visual art, and Catherine Hunsinger for theatre.

The evening’s entertainment was provided by swing dance masters Richard Durlach and Breedlove, who are featured in the November/December issue of Jasper Magazine, and who demonstrated and taught attendees how to dance the Big Apple dance, made famous in 1937 at the historic Columbia location. Vicky Saye Henderson and the Apple Jacks, a new period musical ensemble comprised of Greg Apple, Christopher Cockrell, Chase Nelson, and Henderson, entertained with songs from the era, and Terrence Henderson emceed the event. Catering was provided by Scott Hall Catering. Rob Sprankle was the photographer.

Sponsors for the evening included Bourbon Columbia, City Art Gallery, HoFP Gallery, Peter Korper Realty, Coal Powered Filmworks, Burt Pardue, Billy Guess, Jody and Jeff Salter, Pura Wellness Spa, and an anonymous donor. The gala committee was comprised of Lauren Michalski, Bohumila Augustinova, Rosalind Graverson, Margey Bolen, Annie Boiter-Jolley, and Jasper editor Cindi Boiter.

Nominees for Jasper Artist of the Year (JAY) were solicited from the public early this fall based on individual artistic achievement from September 15, 2013 until September 15 2014. Committees of experts in each of the disciplines reviewed the nominations and narrowed the candidates down to three finalists in each field. The public was then invited once again to vote on their choices in each of the five categories. Finalists in dance were Smoak, Thaddeus Davis, and Caroline Lewis Jones; in literary arts, Cavanaugh, Julia Elliott, and Alexis Stratton; in music, Stuart, the Can’t Kids, and the Mobros; in visual arts, Robbins, James Busby, and Eileen Blyth; and, in theatre, Hunsinger, Robert Richmond, and Frank Thompson.

Outgoing JAYS for 2013 include Terrance Henderson for dance, Vicky Saye Henderson for theatre, the Restoration for music, Philip Mullen for visual art, and Janna McMahan for literary art.

For more information on Jasper and the 2014 JAYS visit www.Jaspercolumbia.net.

Jasper Announces Finalists for 2014 Artists of the Year - Time to VOTE!

Jay graphic

Jasper and Muddy Ford Press and delighted to announce the finalists for

Jasper 2014 Artists of the Year

in Dance, Theatre, Music, Visual, and Literary Arts




Catherine Hunsinger, actress

  • Eponine, Les Miserables (Town Theater)
  • Seven roles and cello, A Christmas Carol adapted by Patrick Barlow (Trustus Theater)
  • Willowedane Poole, Constance [by the Restoration] (Trustus Theater)
  • Fest 24 actor, Group 5 – Prom Night (Trustus Theater)
  • Actress/Soloist in “The Orchestra Moves”, a South Carolina Philharmonic childrens’ concert series
  • Actress/Soloist in the Americana concert of South Carolina Philharmonic’s pops series (St. Andrews Sisters)
  • “Nasty” in Larry Hembree Bring Your Own Dinner Theater Fundraiser (Trustus Theater)
  • Actress in First Citizens Commerical with Mad Monkey
  • Actress in Pillar Awards short film with Larry Hembree
  • Ensemble in Young Frankenstein (Workshop Theater)
  • Veronica, Carnage (Living Room Theatre)
  • Katherine, Blue Moon (Short film by Jeff Driggers)


Robert Richmond, director

  • TEMPEST at the Warehouse in Greenville, SC
  • FINDING RICHARD – USC  – Undergraduate female production of Richard III that exposed 26 students  and gender bended a Shakespearean history play, while exploring acting in a close up and personal arena.
  • DREADFUL SORRY  – The winner of the South Carolina 2010 Film Commission grant was screened in the Orlando Film Festival. This movie gave on screen and behind the camera experience to over 45 students at USC.
  • RICHARD III at the Folger Theatre, Washington, DC
  • HAMLET USC – Set in an asylum the production focused on Hamlet’s madness and was inspired by America Horror Stories.
  • Audio Book of RICHARD III – Folger Shakespeare Library – Continuing my passion to bring Shakespeare into the 21st Century this recording is the 6th fully dramatized production published by Simon & Schuster.
  • WINTERS TALE at the Academy for Classical Acting, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, DC
  • A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT at Clark Studio, Lincoln Center, New York
  • Audio Book JULUIS CAESAR Folger Shakespeare Library


Frank Thompson, actor and director

  • September 2013: Thenardier in Les Miserables at Town.
  • November/December 2013: Charlie Baker in The Foreigner at Town.
  • November/December 2013: Directed Ho! Ho! Ho! at Columbia Children’s Theatre.
  • March 2014: Directed Stand By Your Man at Town.
  • May 2014: Igor in Young Frankenstein at Workshop.
  • July 2014: Dialect Coach/Captain Hook in Peter Pan at Town.
  • August 2014: Wrote/Directed A Night At The Previews fundraiser for Town.



Can’t Kids


  • This year we released Ennui Go which was a lot of hard work for us and many people who aren’t in Can’t Kids.
  • We were the house band for the Indie Grits puppet slam where we collaborated with Bele et Bete.
  • We put out ‘The Twist’ music video that was directed by Katherine McCullough.
  • We released a song on the Tidings from the Light Purple Gam comp.
  • We just finished our side of a split “7 record with Schooner out on Sit and Spin Records next year.
  • We had a pet baby squirrel for about 3 weeks.
  • We’ve obtained an early model Prius.


Greg Stuart

  • 11/18/13 –organizes world premier of Los Angeles-based composer Michael Pisaro’s asleep, forest, melody, path (2013) for large, mixed ensemble and field recordings at the Columbia Museum of Art. Ensemble includes students from the USC Honors College, USC School of Music, and members of the greater Columbia music community. The field recordings used in the concert (i.e., environmental sound recordings) were made by Stuart and Pisaro in late 2012/early 2013 in Congaree National Park.
  • 2/24/14 –Organizes a performance of the legendary Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani’s acclaimed Nakatani Gong Orchestra with 12 local musicians at the Columbia Museum of Art. The piece is an innovative, community-based ensemble consisting of large gongs suspended on custom hardware and played with handcrafted bows designed by Nakatani.
  • 12/06/13 – Stuart plays a set at the Conundrum Music Hall concert of Mind Over Matter Music Over Mind’s (the brainchild of ethnomusicologist and eminent Sun Ra scholar Thomas Stanley). The piece is a collaboration with Columbia-based visual artist Nathan Halverson, Asleep in the watchtower (2013).
  • 2/20/14 –Stuart’s USC-based experimental music performance group, the New Music Workshop, performs John Cage’s One7 (1992) at Conundrum Music Hall.
  • 7/20/14 – Composes a new work for bowed bell and electronic sound, slab (2014) as a solo set opening for electronic powerhouse Jason Lescalleet’s July 2014 Columbia appearance at Conundrum Music Hall.
  • Between 9/15/13 and 9/15/14 Stuart released the following recordings: Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds Michael Pisaro/Matthew Sullivan, “Add Red” With Joe Panzner: Live at the Issue Project Room Joe Panzner/Greg Stuart + Jason Brogan/Sam Sfirri: Harness (Tape)


The Mobros

  • handpicked to open for B.B. King on a few of his summer dates. July 23rd & 24th 2013
  • on the road since January 17th traveling the east coast up to New York, through the Midwest to Chicago, and down through Texas going as far south as New Orleans. Having played 50 cities, The Mobros will finish their tour December 22nd in Charleston, SC.    January 17th- December 22nd 2014
  • released their first full record February 25th  2014

Visual Arts


Eileen Blyth


  • Juried in Vista Studios – Sept 2013
  • Vista Lights – Group Show – Vista Studios – November 2013
  • Big Paint Project – Jan-Feb 2014
  • Volumes II – Women Bound by Art – group exhibition at The Curtis R. Harley Art Gallery- Spartanburg, SC, Jan – Feb 2014
  • Artista Vista – Group Show – Vista Studios – April 2014
  • Art Fields – Lake city – April 2014
  • Big Paint Exhibition – Columbia College- August/October 2014
  • One Columbia Public Art Installation – Sept 2014


James Busby

  • James Busby, Figure 8, 701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia SC
  • James Busby, New Paintings, Randall Scott Projects, Washington DC
  • Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast, Kravets|Wehby Gallery, New York, NY
  • Smoke & Mirrors, Randall Scott Projects, Washington D.C.


Kathleen Robbins, photographer

  • Into the Flatland / Gandy Cultural Arts Center / University of Southern Mississippi / Long Beach MS (November 2013 – February 2014), University of Nebraska / Lincoln NE  (March – April 2014), Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art / Charleston SC (August – October 2014), University of Central Arkansas / Conway AR (September – October 2014),  Rebekah Jacob Gallery / Charleston SC (September – October 2014)
  • The Kids are Alright: an exhibition about family and photography / Addison Gallery of American Art / Andover MA / (traveling exhibition) (September 2013 – January 2014)
  • Photographers from the Permanent Collection, Ogden Museum of Southern Art / New Orleans LA /
  • Somewhere in the South, Rebekah Jacob Gallery / Charleston SC  /
  • CRITICAL MASS TOP 50: Color and Light, Southeast Museum of Photography / Daytona Beach FL /
  • Sense of Place: Picturing West Greenville / Clemson University Center for Visual Arts – Greenville
  • oxfordamerican.org, Borne, Eliza. “Interview: Kathleen Robbins on the landscape of the Delta,” oxfordamerican.org, September 19, 2014; Oxford American Magazine, Mar, Alex. “Issue 86: Sky Burial” Oxford American, Fall 2014; Oxford American Magazine, Brenner, Wendy. “Issue 82: Telegram” Oxford American, Fall 2013; Oxford American Magazine, Giraldi, William. Issue 84 / Oxford American, Spring 2014
  • Lenscratch.com, Smithson, Aline. “Your Favorite Photographs of 2013 Exhibition”; Lenscratch.com, January 1, 2014 The Southern Photographer: Blog about Fine Art Photography in the American South
  • Wall, John. “Kathleen Robbins at Rebekah Jacob Gallery” southernphotography.blogspot.com, August 12, 2014
  • Artist Salon Series: Kathleen Robbins (October 2013) / Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC
  • Visiting Artist Lecture / Workshops (April 2014) , University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  • Artist Lecture (August 2014) / Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
  • Gallery Talk (August 2014) / Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
  • Patron Party Artist’s Talk (May 2014) / Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC
  • Panel Discussion: “Southern Photography” (March 2014) / Rebekah Jacob Gallery, Charleston, SC

Literary Arts


Alexis Stratton, writer

  • Published prize-winning fiction chapbook “Fratricide” (Dec. 2013) (published by BLOOM)
  • Awarded 2nd Prize in Blue Mesa Review Fiction Contest (and publication) for short story, “The Ambassador’s Wife” (Dec. 2013)
  • Wrote and directed short film, “Crosswalk,” which received the Audience Award at the Second Act Film Festival (Oct. 2013)
  • Short fiction published in A Sense of the Midlands, ellipsis… literature & art, Fall Lines: A Literary Convergence
  • Proposed and led the Imagine If project at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, which was a collaborative, community-driven arts and anti-violence initiative asking community members to imagine a world without violence and show us what that world might look like through various arts media and genres. The project (which consisted of free monthly arts workshops at Tapp’s Arts Center and in community groups, an art exhibition in Tapp’s Arts Center in April 2014, and a kickoff event in April 2014 featuring musicians, spoken-word artists, dancers, and others) brought together local artists, musicians, activists, and others, connecting arts and community groups in the idea of envisioning a better world.


2014aoty_julia_elliottJulia Elliott, writer

  • Book: The Wilds (short story collection) out with Tin House Book, Fall, 2014
  • Book: The New and Improved Romie Futch (novel), Tin House Books, forthcoming
  • The Wilds     receiving positive advance buzz,     including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, "The     International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling"
  • Published short story “The Love Machine” on Granta.com,     September, 2014
  • Featured in “18 Short Story Writers on Why They Decided     to Write a Novel,” BuzzFeed Books, August 15, 2014
  • Interviewed by New York Times Bestseller Jeff     Vandermeer in “Julia Elliott and Jeff Vandermeer in Conversation,” Tin House     Blog, September, 2014
  • Published short story “Caveman Diet” in Tin House     61: Tribes, Fall 2014
  • Published short story “Bride” in Conjunctions: 62:     Speaking Volumes, Fall 2014


2014aoty_darien_cavanaughDarien Cavanaugh, writer and editor

  • Founding director of The Columbia Broadside Project which pairs artists and poets from Columbia and throughout SC to work together to create an original “broadside” painting/image comprised of an original work of art and an original poem. The 2014 Columbia Broadside Project exhibit featured work from 28 poets and artists and was held at the Tapp’s Arts Center in downtown Columbia from February 6th to February 28th.
  • Named as the recipient of the 2014 Arts and Humanities Award for Inspiration from the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties for work on work on The Columbia Broadside Project.
  • Founding co-editor of The Frank Martin Review, a print and online literary journal.
  • Poems published or accepted for publication in A Sense of the Midlands (Muddy Ford Press), Blue Earth Review, Burningword, Drunk Monkeys, Found Anew (USC Press), Coe Review, The Gap-Toothed Madness, Grievances, I-70 Review, Juked, Kakalak, Main Street Rag, San Pedro River Review, See Spot Run, and Sou’wester in the past year.



Caroline Lewis-Jones


  • Oct. 2013 Vista Unbound Zombie Bar Crawl
  • Nov and Dec 2013 Unbound performed at 3 different Christmas Events downtown
  • Unbound performed at the Charleston Dance Festival
  • Traveled every weekend to a different part of the country to teach on the dance Convention, Adrenaline and to choreograph at various dance studios. Cities visited were Dallas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Charlotte, Columbia, St. Louis, New York City, Kansas City, Houston, Phoenix, San Francisco, and more
  • Caroline was off from May till the end of August having her first baby

2014aoty_katie_smoakKatie Smoak

  • Over the 2013-2014 season Katie retired from the Columbia City Ballet after 16 Professional seasons, and 26 consecutive years of performing with the company-from childhood through professional career.
  • Katie started off as a Junior apprentice as an 11 year old, climbed the ranks through the Corps de ballet, then Soloist, and spent the last 4 years of her career as a Principal Dancer.  Never missed a Nutcracker in 26 years — Alice in Wonderland was her final performance.
  • the longest standing company member (never out with an injury, never missed part of a season) of any dancer

2014aoty_thaddeus_davisThaddeus Davis – Wideman/Davis Dance Co.

Information to come

After you view our finalists profiles, head over to the Jasper 2014 Artists of the Year Ballot and cast your vote.

The winners of Jasper 2014 Artists of the Year in Dance, Literary Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts will be announced on November 21, 2014 at the release of the November/December issue of Jasper at the Jasper Artists of the Year Celebration and Fundraiser at The Big Apple in Columbia, SC with a limited supply of tickets. Ticket info coming soon.


USC Dance Company Presents Concert of Dance Innovation Feb. 12 – 15 at Drayton Hall Theatre

USC dance mass-hysteria The USC Dance Company will present Breaking the Barrier, a program of contemporary dance works, February 12-15, 2014 at Drayton Hall Theatre.

Directed by Assistant Professor Thaddeus Davis, the concert will feature an all female cast, performing modern and contemporary dance works by the influential African-American choreographer Pearl Primus and the internationally-awarded choreographer Helen Simoneau, as well as brand new works by dance faculty Tanya Wideman-Davis, Stephanie Wilkins and Thaddeus Davis.


About the Featured Works

Bushache Étude,  by pioneering African-American choreographer Pearl Primus, recreates a ritual dance of the Bushongo people of the former Belgian Congo, which was used to purge their communities of evil spirits.  Speaking to NPR in 1994, Primus stated that she intended for the dance to “show the dignity, beauty and strength in the cultural heritage of the peoples of African ancestry” living in the US.

“It's a dance of transforming oneself for the benefit of the community,” says dance instructor Diane McGhee Valle, “where one tries to overcome personal fears and purge the community of evil.”

Valle, the head of USC’s Dance Education track, was instrumental in making Bushache Étude available across the nation through her work with the American Dance Legacy Institute in the late 1990s.  The ALDI worked with Primus before her death in 2010 to include Bushache in their Repertory Études™ initiative, which strives to pass on the legacy of influential American choreographers to contemporary dance artists, teachers and students.

“The basic idea of the dance is tackling fear, and everyone faces fear, whether psychological, physical or cultural,” Valle says.  “We are taking this idea and embodying it as contemporary women.”

Paper Wings by Helen Simoneau Contemporary choreographer Helen Simoneau has been described as having “a gift for creating shapes with dancers’ bodies” (Winston-Salem Journal), with an “ability to…create pieces that float beautifully between imagery and purpose” (ExploreDance.com).  The award-winning artist has seen both her solo and company works performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  She comes to the University through a connection to assistant professors of dance Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis – all three are recent graduates of the Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA program.

The USC dancers will perform Simoneau’s Paper Wings, which made its debut at the American Dance Festival in 2012.  Set to a minimalistic score of electronics and percussion, the piece explores movement possibilities by assigning dancers with physical tasks and giving them the opportunity to discover their own unique physical approaches to accomplishing those goals.

“When coaching the dancers, something I talk about a lot is having a real-time experience,” Simoneau explains.  “If the dancers are able to have a really sensorial experience of the movement in real time, then the audience will take in what is actually happening rather than what is being performed.  They will notice that difference.”

Untitled by Tanya Wideman-Davis Assistant Professor Tanya Wideman-Davis’ still untitled work explores how the configuration of the performance space itself can affect the movement around it.  The piece features a prominent architectural element with a built-in light source, which reflects down and away from the structure.

“The audience will be witnessing how the dancers move around this particular structure and navigate the architecture in space,” she says.  “We’re investigating how space and movement can be shaped so that they are both causing a similar experience.”

Reframing by Stephanie Wilkins USC Dance instructor Stephanie Wilkins describes her work as a dance about freeing oneself from emotional pain.  For her, a quote from the writer Alexander Dumas sums it up best: “Moral wounds… may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”

“Basically the first section, which has 4 big frames which will hang from the ceiling, one dancer behind each one, is about hiding behind your pain and not dealing with it, but wanting to break free of it and learn to love again,” she explains.   “And the second section will be about this process of breaking free and feeling everything again.”

Mass Hysteria by Thaddeus Davis Assistant Professor Davis describes Mass Hysteria as a “pure dance work.”  The acclaimed choreographer, recipient of the prestigious Choo San Goh award, says it is “an educational tool for our students to explore contemporary dance and the process of making new work.”



Putting It All Together

When asked about all the selections being presented for the concert, Wideman-Davis thinks back to how artists like Primus paved the way for contemporary female dance creators.

“Pearl was provocative, a female choreographer at a time when were there not a lot of opportunities for African-American women to create work.  This program, with four original works by female choreographers, is like a platform for women to be able to present creative, in-the-now work with young artists who are themselves in the process of figuring out how they’re going fit in the artistic world.”

Breaking the Barrier will be performed at 7:30pm February 12-15 at Drayton Hall Theatre.  Tickets for the concert are $12 for students, $16 for USC faculty/staff, military and seniors (60+) and $18 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (803) 777-5112, or can be charged by phone at (803) 251-2222.  Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St.

For more information on Breaking the Barrier or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at bushk@mailbox.sc.edu.


Abraham.In.Motion (and Wideman/Davis Dance Company) -- A Rant and Review from Spoleto


Jasper loves dance. And while Columbia hosts no small supply of dance companies, sometimes it becomes painfully obvious that, among our abundance of ballet companies, sexy undulating companies, and one-woman show companies in the city, we are missing – or appear to be missing – an excellent contemporary company that addresses social issues, makes us think, and entertains us at the same time. I couldn’t help but think of this on Monday night when I watched the final Spoleto performance of The Radio Show by Abraham.In.Motion at the Emmett Robinson Theatre on the campus of The College of Charleston.

Dancer, choreographer, and founder of Abraham.In.Motion, Kyle Abraham, is clearly a product of two places – Pittsburgh, PA and New York City – and evidence of this was more than obvious in last night’s performance. It was from his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he and his family listened religiously to the voices of Black radio, that Abraham found the impetus for The Radio Show’s concept. When, in 2009, WAMO – the only urban radio station left in Pittsburgh – went off the air, Abraham was struck by the absence of the Black voice from public airways. In program notes he writes, "I wondered how aware listeners were to the goings-on in other urban communities around the country now that this voice had been taken away.  Without black radio, where is the audible voice of the black community? Radio was so present during times of strife in the past. Where is its place today?”

The 34-year-old Abraham, who studied at The Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, continued his education by receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Among the many honors he has received over the past few years, including the Princess Grace for choreography, a Bessie Award, and being named one of the “25 to Watch by Dance” Magazine in 2009, it is the maturity of his NYC training that stands out about Abraham. Though highly stylized, his technique and that of his dancers (almost all of whom are formally trained and with higher education degrees) is solid, grounded, efficient, and rich in interpretation. When so many dancers are gathering into groups these days and saying, “Hey, look at us! We’re a company!” it was satisfying to see a young new company with a fully realized dance vocabulary, confidence in their mission, a unifying aesthetic, and the training and education to pull it all off.

The evening began with Abraham, who grew up playing piano and cello, approaching the stage via the audience after having tapped a couple of ladies in the audience for impromptu turns in the aisle, reminiscent of the beginning of Alvin Aileys’s Minus 16 earlier in the festival. Abraham gave us a virtuosic solo performance that incorporated into the narrative of the loss of urban radio the concomitant loss of his father’s mental dexterity as he struggled with the deteriorating effects of Alzheimer’s. I get chills when I type these words – he danced to static. As an off-stage radio scanned up and down the dial, encountering bits and pieces of classic music like Aretha Franklin, Al Green, the Chi-lites, and the Shirelles, interspersed with the static left when these songs disappeared from the airwaves, and emblematic of the static his father encountered in his thought processes, Abraham and six other dancers performed three pieces, Preshow, AM 860, and 106.7 FM. Elyse Morris, Rachelle Rafailedes, Rena Butler, Chalvar Monteiro, and Maleek Washington completed the ensemble.

Watching this young company perform so passionately brought to mind Columbia’s own Wideman/Davis Dance Company who, for a few years, were gathering a modest but strong amount of steam among folks who know dance in the city. Thaddeus Davis may be the best choreographer in South Carolina. Like Abraham’s, his work is grounded in technique, socially relevant, and aesthetically unified. But for the past year, Wideman/Davis Dance Company appeared to be missing from Columbia’s dance culture. Where were they? They were at the University of South Carolina teaching, choreographing, and performing, though many of us who follow WDDC – who adore and want to support WDDC – were unaware when these performances took place. On one occasion, I found out the day before a late night show was taking place that it would be occurring. The other performances came and went with some but little recognition.

Here’s the deal – hiding down in the dance building on the USC campus is one of the finest choreographers in the country and, scattered throughout the world, the company members he gathers when he has something to give and the money and support to give it. (Elyse Morris, one of the dancers in last night’s performance, proudly lists Thaddeus Davis among the choreographers whose work she has performed.) But while Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion has a number of impressive benefactors, including the Heinz Endowments and the New York State Council on the Arts, Wideman/Davis Dance Company does not.

Wideman/Davis Dance Company is another example of the right people not getting the modest amount of money available to artists in SC. When I think of some of the silly things that are funded – funds given to organizations that know more about grant writing than about the arts – it is infuriating.

The problems are multifactorial and include not enough time/money/energy given to promoting the arts and not enough information available about accessing what little money there is out there.

Jasper doesn’t have answers to these problems, but on some days we get as many as 500 readers of What Jasper Said, so maybe some of you do. And here’s a disclaimer – I haven’t spoken to Thaddeus about this post, so I don’t know what his response will be. But I do know that a dance artist of his training (BFA from Butler, MFA from Hollins), with his accolades (the Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, being named, like Abraham above, one of the “25 to Watch in the World” by Dance Magazine, and having the premiere of one of his pieces being named one of the top ten moments in dance by the New York Times), his experience (Davis has danced with Donald Byrd and the Dance Theatre of Harlem among other illustrious companies and choreographed for Alvin Ailey, Julliard and more), and his passion and talent should be celebrated by the city he calls home.

I was fortunate to see Abraham.In.Motion at the Spoleto festival last night – it was an excellent performance. But Columbia is equally as fortunate to have a company the caliber of Wideman/Davis Dance residing in its city. Let’s give WDDC the kind of support they deserve – and let’s see them next year on the Spoleto Festival 2013 stage.